Washington Post OpEd Claims 'Paddy Wagon' Is Offensive to Irish-Americans


The Washington Post just published an opinion piece that accused President Trump of insulting the Irish. 

James Mulvaney, a professor, wrote that Trump's recent use of the term "paddy wagon" last week is offensive to him and his Irish ancestors.

In a speech last week about the international gang MS-13, Trump said, "When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon -- you just see them thrown in, rough -- I said, please don't be too nice." 

Mulvaney took offense for himself and his great-grandfather, and Irish immigrant and New York City policeman during the late 1800's. If you don't believe me, here is an excerpt from the actual article: 

But I was also put off by Trump’s description of police rounding up gang members into a “paddy wagon.” To many Irish Americans like myself, the phrase is insulting; it should not be used in polite discourse.

Paddy, of course, borrows from the pet form of the common Irish name Patrick and has long been deployed as a slur. The origin of “paddy wagon,” though, is unclear.

As if we needed another group claiming offense for everyday expressions. The Irish are a tough people. They experienced subjugation at the hands of the British, terrible famine, and actual discrimination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Irish Immigrants, like my own grandparents, are also a proud people -- in the good sense of the word. They are not ones to jump on the latest bandwagon of victimization. This is evidenced by the absolute mockery this piece received on Twitter: 

Is the term "paddy wagon" really the hill to die on for those of Irish heritage? Why not the cultural appropriation of St. Patrick's Day, or a Guinness stout? 

This seems less like a cultural outrage and more like a personal vendetta for Mr. Mulvaney. At the end of his article, he admits that he even complained to the New York Times for using the term "paddy wagon" in a crossword. 

My Irish grandmother would probably tell him to "pass no remarks" on the subject. 

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